Saturday, 24 July 2010

Good old Irish common sense

Here's a bit of welcome news from the Republic of Ireland. The government there has published the “Criminal Law Defence and the Dwelling) Bill 2010”, which – if passed – will recognise the right of a home owner, tenant or visitor to stand their ground if attacked in a home and specifically states that there is no obligation to retreat. The bill will allow people to use reasonable force to defend themselves and also specifically states that reasonable force can – depending on the circumstances – result in the death of an intruder.

Statists will scream that this is licensing vigilantism, which it obviously isn't – it's just common sense that you have the right to defend yourself and your home from attack. Here's a statement of support from Dan Hanley, vice-president of the AGSI (an organisation which represents police superintendents and inspectors, our equivalent would probably be ACPO): “The bill aims to shift the balance of rights back to the homeowner where it should always have been. It is intolerable a homeowner should be compelled to retreat in front of an intruder who has entered the home and who may have malign intentions towards the homeowner, the family or the home owner’s property."

Hanley added: "It is ridiculous to suggest the bill, which attempts to redress a serious legal imbalance, would provide a license to kill or a ‘have-a-go’ charter for homeowners, the vast majority of whom will continue to act with good sense and in a peaceful way."

This is exactly the sort of common sense we need more of in Britain.

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Leaflet War – Labour 2, LibDem 1

The next local election in Manchester isn't till next May, but as far as the big parties are concerned, the election campaign is already on. I've had three publications through the door in the last few weeks that can be considered election leaflets.

The first one was from Labour, and I've mentioned this in a previous blog entry – it's an expensive looking glossy full colour leaflet with a picture of the local Labour mob on the front and a big “Thank You” headline. No need to thank me, I certainly didn't vote Labour – much more fun to run against them, even though the Labour candidate did manage to squeeze back in with a measly 2,247 more votes than me.

The next leaflet I got was one of those LibDem Focus things – simpler colour scheme but broadly similar layout. Another “Thank You” headline. A few more pictures of the local LibDems and also a bit more text. Also one of those standard bar chart diagrams that they like to stick on the front of their Focus leaflets, showing LibDems and Labour as “neck and neck” and discounting the other four parties with the words “The other parties Vote has Collapsed” - this is untrue by the way, as you can easily check by having a look at the 2008 election results. The Tory and Green paper candidates got about the same result as last time. The BNP loser got more votes than last time, despite doing no campaigning – I put this down to a combination of having the benefit of also having a General Election candidate, plus the incredible amount of free publicity those clowns get from the other party. And of course, me being the first Libertarian Party candidate to stand in Manchester, we don't know yet what a typical Libertarian election result is going to be.

I've got nothing against the opposition sending me this stuff. It's their right and the money to pay for it has been raised voluntarily. But the third publication that I've received is different.

This publication is not technically a party political leaflet, but it might as well be. It's the latest edition of the “Manchester People” – a newspaper-style publication printed and distributed by Manchester City Council and funded by the taxpayer. Sixteen pages of propaganda saying what a great job the council is doing. The front page is dominated by a story praising the Manchester Day Parade - £200,000 down the drain, but not one word of criticism. Another story is about the council's plans to blow £1,000,000,000 redeveloping St Peter's Square. There's nothing much wrong with it at the moment, that I can see – maybe the councillors are just bored with the view. Again, it's a completely one-sided story, not admitting any criticism, typical of this publication. Although it doesn't actually tell you to vote Labour at the next election, since it consistently praises everything the council does, and as the council is dominated by Labour, the message is clear. Local councils shouldn't be allowed to get away with this kind of thing, and hopefully when the Libertarian Party gets some councillors elected we'll be able to put a stop to it. But for the time being the working people of this city are being forced to pay for this publication to the tune of over £140,000 per year.

Friday, 9 July 2010

All Out Superpower Confrontation

Do you remember "Not the Nine O'Clock News"? I've always liked this song: